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NM groups oppose Trump’s refugee, immigration executive orders

The Associated Press and Brittany Costello
January 27, 2017 06:46 PM

President Donald Trump is indefinitely suspending the United States' Syrian refugees program.

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Trump signed a presidential executive order Friday that declares the entry of "nationals of Syria as refugees" is "detrimental to the interests of the United States."

Trump is suspending the program until he says their admission to the country is "consistent with the national interest."

Trump's order also appears to be capping the number of refugees from other countries at 50,000 people in fiscal year 2017.

Trump had promised to scale back refugee admissions during his campaign, arguing that they posed a potential risk to national security.

The president also signed an executive action implementing "new vetting measures" that he says are aimed at keeping "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States.

Trump says, "We don't want them here."

The president says he only wants to admit people to the United States who will support the country. His comments echoed his campaign pledge to implement "extreme vetting" programs, particularly for people coming from countries with ties to terrorism.

The president signed the executive action at the Pentagon, where he met with the joint chiefs of staff and participated in a ceremonial swearing-in for Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Friday community leaders weighed in on the executive order.

“It is our duty to welcome refugees and immigrants and to recognize the tremendous values they bring to our nation,” said Faisal Nabulso, president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico. “These orders do nothing but divide us.”

It was a message of strength and unity.

“In America, we do not judge a person by the color of their skin or the God they pray to or the nation they were born in,” said Kathleen Turnipseed, the deputy director of ACLU of New Mexico.

Friday the Islamic Center of New Mexico was a sanctuary to more than those practicing their Muslim faith, but to everyone fighting to keep the freedom America was built on.

“Sadly it is unprecedented in our nation’s history that we have ever profligate, officially, a policy that bans immigrants or refugees on the basis of religion solely,” said Ahmad Assed with the Islamic Center of New Mexico.

Trump signed an executive order that would call for extreme vetting of visa seekers from countries tied to terrorism. The United States already utilizes a thorough nine-step vetting system for refugees, the president's executive order is said to go further.

“Just like immigrant communities that I’m so proud to be part of, our Muslim communities consist of mothers, students, children,” said Marian Mendez, with the El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos.

Credits

The Associated Press and Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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